The moment I’ve been preparing for and it still happened when I least expected it. LOL But let me roll back a few days into Week 11.
Last Friday, October 20th I wrote about starting CyberKnife sessions. Today was session #6 and my last. I had a few ups and downs. The sessions left me very fatigued and light headed. Much more than my previous radiation treatments. Most of the week I wasn’t able to function too well after each session. Today after my session despite falling (tripped on a walkway) and while I was getting into my car, I feel better. (Luckily I landed in the seat.) So today was more weakness and feeling dizzy, but I’m happy to have this chapter behind me. The radiation doesn’t hurt, but I would feel the effects afterwards. This morning I downloaded the new Kelly Clarkson album, The Meaning of Life onto my phone and they streamed it into the treatment room.
I never had the nerve to ask about it even though the staff mentioned it before. I was all set to listen through little headphones taped to my chest. (It does work.) Wowzas! The speakers in the room are soo much better! It made the treatment go by so quick even though I was in there for like 45 minutes. I tapped my fingers along to the music and enjoyed the whole album. I wasn’t focused on all the creaking and whirring that the robot arm likes to do. I didn’t doze off to wake up to a lens looking right at me. (Well, hello CK!) That happened a few times and it was eerie. LOL
I was a little dizzy when I got up and my right leg went to sleep again. My back hurt, but I was excited about finishing my last CK session. I think being overweight made me sink into the cushion of the RoboCouch. (No seriously, the part you lay on has a name.) It would cut off my circulation probably because I didn’t lay flat. If I can offer any advice to any GBM patients who are a little heavy, lay off the goodies especially in the beginning. The Decadron and my hospital stay encouraged at least 5 more pounds to stick around. It doesn’t help the fatigue to be overweight and everything just aches more.
Before we started, Dr. B told me I was the most positive and happy patient she had. Well, I’m glad she noticed because it takes a lot of energy to be that peppy through these radiation treatments. I think I do that because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. Yeah, I’m going through changes and I’m healing myself with every tool available. Last week at church a lady said I needed to work with Labrodite so on the way home my friend and I stopped at Crystal Vision and I got a bracelet. On this last day I looked up at the fake skylight that has palm trees and a sunny blue sky. I’m going to miss that view. Everyone at the hospital has been so nice and helpful. There were times when they had to hold me up so I could walk out to the waiting room. They always greeted me with a smile and offered warm blankets.
Before today’s treatment, the doctor encouraged me to visit the Image Recovery Center before I go home. I went over there not knowing what to expect, but it is a legitimate beauty salon. The hairdresser gave me the big shave down. (Which I was going to video…) And we found this beautiful scarf which matched my outfit perfectly. LOL It’s got an elastic string doohickey (technical term) inside so I can adjust it like a hat. And voila! Cancer Vixen. All I need is some makeup and hoop earrings. I put on my aviators with it and was impressed. I can be bald. It’s cool. Right now it’s actually more like a close crew cut, but on Monday the representative from Optune will help me shave it down more. But for now I’m Buzz Taylor. Cancer Adventurer.
I take each day as it comes and each treatment as it’s given. I pray a lot, talk a bunch and like to share my experiences in the hopes that others might benefit. So, if you’re going through radiation, bring your own upbeat tunes. They need to be on an iPod or downloaded to your phone. Ask about bluetooth speakers. I recommend it highly. My techs really cranked it up and I was so happy! Wish I had done it sooner. This album is my new favorite. The Meaning of Life. How appropriate. I’m still wondering about that question, but I have a feeling that the meaning of life is to live your life filled with love and kick fear to the curb. Being in love with family, friends, and each moment. Appreciating those little things that make you feel happy. Like a brisk morning with a bright sun. (This morning.) Like the fact that my son knows to check that I have my phone, etc before we leave the house. Like my mom tearing up a little while she watched me get shaved. I know it was hard to watch, but that means I’m closer to getting better. We’ll get through this together. Tears and all.
My next chapter begins Monday with the Optune cap orientation. My family and friends will be here to learn how they can help. We might even do a video who knows? I’m looking forward to this next important step to stomping on those lesions. In another 4 – 6 weeks, we’ll get another scan and see where it all stands. I’m positive that a miracle is coming and maybe it’s already arrived. I feel good today and there is more good ahead. For now I need to buy more scarves in different colors and turn on my inner Vixen. LOL I’m glad this is mostly done before the holidays. I want to enjoy time with family and friends and not have to worry about daily appointments and taking six different pills every day. Right now, I’m overflowing with love that we’ve come this far. I’ve been supported by a great medical team, family and friends. Especially the friends who drag me out to do stuff. I’ve been painting by numbers and binging sci-fi on Hulu, but there’s nothing but love and happiness today and that’s the wave I’m riding on. I’m taking the high road cancer. You can take the low.